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7 months ago

AD 2016 Q2

As we pointed out in the spring 2013 edition of the Alert Diver, even being a dive buddy has potential legal implications. So, to bump this up a notch, what about the diver training organisations themselves? Where do they stand? How do they relate to South African law? Are they all considered the same under our legal system in spite of the differences in organisational structures and training programmes? How does this affect their respective instructors and trainee divers from a legal perspective? These are not exactly simple questions. It is certainly true that the respective training organisations differ in a number of ways. However, this does not imply that there are necessarily differential legal implications for each of them. In fact, under South African law, the legal principles are common in all matters. Therefore, if you suffer a loss and you (or your estate in the case of a fatality) wish to recover damages, the legal principles would be applied commonly; whether you are driving or diving. Although not a frequent occurrence, there have been quite a number of law suits associated with diving injuries and damages in South Africa. This is not surprising, as the occurrence of law suits is really a function of “numbers”. As training increases, so do the chances of injuries and, with it, the chances of legal recourse. So, it remains wise to insure yourself, your equipment or your business in a proper and effective way. But before getting back to the potential differences amongst the training agencies, let’s first explore the foundational legal principles on which any civil claim would be adjudicated: inherent risk, negligence and duty to take care.

HUMPBACK WHALE CALF

HUMPBACK WHALE CALF Tonga, South Pacific By Scott Portelli 4th Place Each year between July and October, humpback whales return to the calm, warm waters of the Kingdom of Tonga to mate and give birth. The encounter in this image was special because of the obvious bond between the mother whale and her young calf. The mother would remain vertical for up to 40 minutes at a time, while the calf surfaced every three to five minutes to breathe. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 15mm fisheye lens, 1/320 sec @ f/8, ISO 320, Seacam housing; www.scottportelli.com 96 | SPRING 2016

GRAY SEAL Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK By Ellen Cuylaerts 5th Place Though it was dark and rainy as we departed the village of Seahouses for the Farne Islands, we found ourselves in the middle of some very playful and curious seals from the moment we entered the water. The seals were not at all bothered by our presence, taking breaks from their natural behavior of courting each other and resting in the kelp to closely inspect our fins and cameras. Nikon D800, Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm lens, 1/200 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 800, Light and Motion Sola Video 3000 lights (2), Subal housing; www.ellencuylaerts.com RED OCTOPUS San Diego, Calif., USA By Allison Vitsky Sallmon 6th Place I have adored red octopuses ever since I read about the one that went undetected in a well-known aquarium for a year, dining on crabs in its exhibit area until it was discovered crawling across the floor late one night. These creatures are not uncommon, but they can be small, quick and elusive. This tiny, colorful juvenile, however, was very interested in me, and I was able to photograph him in a variety of poses on the kelp. Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 lens, 1/200 sec @ f/18, ISO 320, Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes (2), Sea & Sea housing; www.avitsky.com (ON THE COVER) 7th Place PILOT WHALES Nice, France By Greg Lecoeur (FEATURED ON PAGE 112) 8th Place LARVAL CUSK EEL Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA By Jeff Milisen ALERTDIVER.COM | 97

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